Sir Jonathon Espie Porritt, 2nd Baronet, CBE is a British environmentalist and writer. He is known for his advocacy of the Green Party of England and Wales. Porritt frequently contributes to magazines, newspapers and books, and appears on radio and television and has written a number of books including Hope in Hell: a decade to confront the climate emergency.
Sunday 2nd October
Dear Jerome Booth,
Forgive me contacting you out of the blue – but I was just reading about your association with the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) in today’s Observer!
That came as something of a surprise, I have to say, given the acumen you have brought to bear on the many challenges you’ve taken on – in business, the arts and philanthropy – over the years. So as someone who’s campaigned on these issues for nearly 50 years, I hope you won’t mind me asking how you come to be in such a position.
At one level, it could conceivably be argued that the GWPF has a respectable role to play in encouraging good debate about the Climate Emergency – and simultaneously discouraging what I believe you often refer to as ‘groupthink’! But as we all know, that’s a pretty thinly-veiled front for what the GWPF is really all about: obscuring and dishonestly undermining today’s very broad consensus amongst climate scientists.
You will, of course, be fully aware of the revelations in the Guardian and the Independent that the GWPF has received fossil fuel funding, despite its vehement denials on that score over many years. Its charity status is now the subject of a complaint to the Charity Commission, and I was just wondering, if that complaint is upheld, whether you would then feel obliged to step down as Chair?
Many climate campaigners, including the Writers’ Rebel initiative that I have been a supporter of since its inception, believe that the GWPF will be judged very harshly by history at having played such a deeply regrettable role in delaying action on addressing climate change. Those who continue today to promote climate misinformation, knowing what we now know, threaten the whole equilibrium of our climate system in a way that will affect all future generations.
It just seems odd to me that someone like yourself, who has enjoyed such success in life, should seek to associate himself so prominently with an organisation that has proved itself to be so comprehensively ‘on the wrong side of history’.
So I very much hope that you will now be inclined to step down as Chair. This would be seen as such a life-affirming and deeply responsible thing to do by all those concerned about the Climate Emergency. And especially by young people.
If you would like to meet up and discuss this,I would love that – not least as I find myself as concerned about ‘groupthink’ as you do!
(Author and campaigner, and former Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission)
Sir Jonathon Porritt, 2nd Baronet, CBE is a British environmentalist and writer. He frequently contributes to magazines, newspapers and books, appears on radio and television and has written a number of books including Hope in Hell: a decade to confront the climate emergency.
Call to Action
If you would like to join in with this campaign, you can email Jerome Booth c/o firstname.lastname@example.org, and cc us at email@example.com. Please note: We’re addressing all the trustees respectfully, and appealing to their personal principles rather than attacking their public image.